Agriculture

Pig manure sweet money for Thai farmer
October 10, 2007 09:50 AM - Ploy Chitsomboon and Pisit Changplayngam -Reuters

For Thai pig farmer Ong-Arj Suwunnatee, going green was not only good for business and the environment, it came as a welcome relief to his neighbors.

"Back in the old days, people knocked on my door and complained about the smell," said Ong-Arj, who owns 4,000 pigs in Nakhon Pathom, 55 km (35 miles) west of Bangkok in the heart of Thailand's hog country.

Anheuser Busch Using Genetically Engineered Rice in Beer: Greenpeace
October 9, 2007 05:24 PM -

Washington, United States — Greenpeace released the results of analyses showing the presence of an experimental genetically engineered (GE) strain of rice at an Anheuser-Busch operated mill in Arkansas that is used to brew Budweiser. An independent laboratory test, commissioned by Greenpeace, detected the presence of GE rice (Bayer LL601) in three out of four samples taken at the mill.

Bayer LL601 rice was the source of the 2006 contamination of at least 30 percent of rice stocks in the United States. The GE contamination had a massive negative economic impact on the U.S. rice industry as many countries subsequently stopped or significantly restricted the import of U.S. rice. 

National Mall To Test "Green" Lawn Care
October 9, 2007 04:57 PM -

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attempting to prove to the nation that organic lawn care techniques are safe and effective, one of the highest profile lawns in the world is about to try a massive 'green' makeover.

The two-week project involves plowing a section of existing lawn at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., adding compost, other natural soil amendments and fertilizers before reseeding the area. The project was organized by SafeLawns.org. Representatives from the natural lawn care company will return to the Nation’s Capitol frequently in the next two years to continue an organic maintenance program on the area that measures more than four acres.

Man Wins Contest With 1,524-Lb. Pumpkin
October 9, 2007 07:54 AM - Associated Press

An Oregon man won the annual pumpkin weigh-off here, presenting a gigantic gourd that came it at 1,524 pounds. Thad Starr, of Pleasant Hill, Ore., set a contest record with the pumpkin. He'll get $6 a pound, bringing his winnings to $9,144.

New Study Shows Genetically Engineered Corn Could Pollute Aquatic Ecosystems
October 8, 2007 06:56 PM -

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A study by an Indiana University environmental science professor and several colleagues suggests a widely planted variety of genetically engineered corn has the potential to harm aquatic ecosystems. The study is being published this week by the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

Researchers, including Todd V. Royer, an assistant professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, established that pollen and other plant parts containing toxins from genetically engineered Bt corn are washing into streams near cornfields.

They also conducted laboratory trials that found consumption of Bt corn byproducts produced increased mortality and reduced growth in caddisflies, aquatic insects that are related to the pests targeted by the toxin in Bt corn.

Scientists create “interspecies” animal using embryonic stem cells
October 8, 2007 06:37 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Liverpool, UK - Embrionic stem (ES) cells from a wood mouse into the early embryo of a house mouse, an international team of scientists has produced normal healthy animals made up a mixture of cells from each the two distantly related species. This is the first time that stem cells from one mammalian species have been shown to contribute extensively to development when introduced into the embryo of another, very different species.

Poll: Majority See Organic Food As Safer, Tastier, Better for Environment, Healthier, More Expensive
October 8, 2007 03:00 PM -

ROCHESTER, N.Y.- It costs more, but it's worth it, and it's better for the environment and safer. And while those who buy organic food regularly are still a minority, their numbers are growing bigger all the time. Most organic food buyers overwhelmingly believe it tastes better and is worth the extra cost.

These are some of the findings of a Harris Poll of 2,392 adults surveyed online between September 11 and 18, 2007 by Harris Interactive®.

Better Than Corn? Algae Set to Beat Out Other Biofuel Feedstocks
October 8, 2007 11:26 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute

Forget corn, sugar cane, and even switchgrass. Some experts believe that algae is set to eclipse all other biofuel feedstocks as the cheapest, easiest, and most environmentally friendly way to produce liquid fuel, reports Kiplinger’s Biofuels Market Alert. “It is easy to get excited about algae,” says Worldwatch Institute biofuels expert Raya Widenoja. “It looks like such a promising fuel source, especially if it’s combined with advances in biodiesel processing.”

Controversy Over Organic Dairy Continues
October 8, 2007 09:37 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday it will not investigate complaints filed Sept. 13 by organic watchdog The Cornucopia Institute against Aurora Organic Dairy (AOD) and its two certifiers.The news comes just days after three public interest groups, including Cornucopia, defiantly vowed to disobey a demand from AOD to stop making "false and disparaging" statements against the Boulder, Colo.-based dairy or face legal action.

Egypt plan to green Sahara desert stirs controversy
October 8, 2007 09:05 AM - Will Rasmussen -Reuters

It looks like a mirage but the lush fields of cauliflower, apricot trees and melon growing among a vast stretch of sand north of Cairo's pyramids is all too real -- proof of Egypt's determination to turn its deserts green.

While climate change and land over-use help many deserts across the world advance, Egypt is slowly greening the sand that covers almost all of its territory as it seeks to create more space for its growing population.

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